Jewish Family Services of Northeastern New York (J.F.S.) has slated a series of free “virtual” workshops to help participants prepare for the phase of life when they are aging and possibly aging solo. The one hour weekly, “Preparation Age: Prepare for the Expected and Unexpected,” programs are on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. in November beginning Nov. 1. Each will feature guest speakers with expertise in, depending on the workshop, aging, estate law, occupational therapy, gerontology, palliative and hospice care, and funeral services.
The topics were chosen to respond to the most pressing questions that JFS hears. “We are getting more and more calls from individuals and families, particularly as they face tough aging decisions or even crisis, asking, what happens now?” said Jane Ginsburg, J.F.S. president and CEO.
As the program manager of the JFS Senior Resource Network, Lynda Shrager said, “So many people are dealing with aging-related issues, and many are trying to navigate alone,” She added, “There are many obstacles, but these workshops will teach people how to plan, thus alleviating some of the stress.
The first workshop on Nov. 1 “Prepare to Age Smart & Live Safely in Your Home” begins with a personal account of someone thrust intro solo aging through the sudden death of a spouse. The workshop will also explore one of aging-in-place’s biggest challenges: living safely at home. Home modifications and organizing will be reviewed by Carol Bloom and Lynda Shrager, OTR, MSW, CAPS, JFS Senior Resource Network, program manager and author of: Age in Place: A Guide to Modifying, Organizing and Decluttering Mom and Dad’s Home.
“Prepare to Stay Connected” is set for Nov. 8. Participants will learn about alternatives to driving themselves and how to utilize community agencies and resources. Are age-friendly communities an option?.Peggy Osborne, Town of Bethlehem, Seniors Services coordinator and Jennifer Plouffe, LMSW, JFS NNORC, program director will be facilitators.
Facilitator Myles Fischer, Esq., Harris Beach, PLLC, Partner will discuss the fundamentals of estate planning, powers of attorney and advance directives. Guidance on important documents and where and with whom to store them will be offered in the “Prepare for Financial & Legal Matters” on Nov. 15.
Health will be the focus of the Nov. 22 session, “Prepare to Maintain Health & Wellness.” Health concerns and tips including managing chronic illness, basic exercise, diet and wellness will be highlighted. Also e Medicare options and insurance sign-up assistance will also be offered. Dr. Michael L. Wolff, FACP, Community Care Physicians, internist/ geriatrician and Jane Sanders, LMSW, Bethlehem Senior Services, former executive director are speakers.
“Prepare for End of Life” is slated for Nov. 29. Palliative care and hospice services offerings will be reviewed. How to create a checklist for what needs to be in place when someone dies and advance funeral preparation and paperwork will be considered. Facilitators will be Caitlin St. George, The Community Hospice, St. Peter’s Health Partners, provider relations supervisor and Mark Levine, Levine Memorial Chapel, Inc., owner/director.
The series is “virtual,” via Zoom, but people may also call in. The series is free, but JFS requests a donation of $10 per session. There are three ways to register: jfsneny.org/preparation-age; [email protected] or by calling the organization at 518-516-1102.
Program sponsors (in formation): Albany Med Health System; Harris Beach, PLLC; Karen Glaser, licensed Associate real estate broker, St. Peter’s Health Partners; Congregation Beth Abraham-Jacob; Congregation Berith Shalom, the Jewish Federation of Northeastern New York, Theodore Strauss Endowment Fund; and Temple Israel.